Wrong Mission

Gareth Hughes wants the NZ Defence Force to send ships to the Southern Ocean in order to protect protestors:

Parliament will be presented with proposed legislation which would see the New Zealand Defence Force monitor Japan’s annual whale slaughter on the southern seas.

Green Party MP Gareth Hughes is penning a private members’ bill which would seek to amend the Defence Act 1990.

The modification would see a Naval vessel accompany the Japanese hunting fleet, a move Hughes said would ensure the safety of protest vessels trying to disrupt the whaling.

The mooted law change will be placed into the private members’ bill ballot when Parliament resumes next month.

”Arguably it is one of the functions under the Defence Act anyway. But this would just make it explicit,” Hughes told Fairfax Media.

”It shows New Zealanders care and we are sending a strong message to Japan. It is like when [Norman] Kirk first sent a frigate to Mururoa Atoll .th.th. it is about bearing witness to an environmental crime.”

A better mission for the NZ Defence forces would be to protect legitimate ship owners conducting legal fishing activities from the depredations of pirates and vandals.

The flying of a skull and crossbones without Letters of Marque means you are a pirate, attacking and boarding vessels illegally means you are a pirate. Pirates are the scourge of the ocean:

Piracy is the name of a specific crime under customary international law and also the name of a number of crimes under the municipal law of a number of States. It is distinguished from privateering, which is authorized by national authorities and therefore a legitimate form of war-like activity by non-state actors. Privateering is considered commerce raiding, and was outlawed by the Peace of Westphalia (1648) for signatories to those treaties.

Sea Shepherd meets all the legal requirements fro being described as pirates. Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. Sea Shepherd in boarding vessels, preventing them going about their lawful undertakings and attempting to halt their sea going progress is committing acts of piracy.

If Gareth Hughes wants the Navy to go down tot eh Southern ocean then let them go down there to arrest pirates.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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